Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Preppy Prints

Do you have a soul mate?  Is it your husband?

I love my husband.  He is my soul mate.
But I also have friend soul mate.
It's Megan.

She has a shop called Preppy Prints and she makes digital invitations:

Megan has donated (1) Digital Invitation of your choice.

This item can be found in the For the Kids basket.


My favorite thing about Beau starting Kindergarten was getting to know the families of the kids that I am going to be doing life with for many years to come. 

At our school you cannot just drop off or pick up your kindergartner in the car line.  You have to get out of your car and walk them into the Kindergarten playground.

At times this seemed annoying.  
But this year has made me realize how precious that time was.  
I made so many wonderful friends at drop off and pick up last year.
Friends that I now rarely see.

It's the travesty of the car line.
One of those friends that I now barely see is Janice.  Last year Janice started a dessert business called Popcakes. I loved talking to Janice about business cards and websites and test batches {well, I enjoyed eating those more than talking about them}... all the exciting things that come along with starting your own business.

Janice's team is incredibly talented!  
Just look at what they can do with a cake pop:

Where do you live, and where are you from originally?
Ladera Ranch. I was born in the Philippines, moved to the Bay Area when I was 7 and lived up in NorCal til I was 16.  Then I moved to SoCal and love it down here!

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your family.
I'm the oldest of 4 children.  My dad is Chinese and my mom is Filipino-Spanish.  I moved here in 1978.  I went to UCLA and graduated with a B.A. in business econ. Worked at Wells Fargo right after graduation as a credit analyst, met my husband, Sammy, and got married in 1999.  I really wanted to go to culinary school instead of UCLA but my mom wouldn't let me! Hahaha.  I love cooking, baking, shopping, running, and spending time with the kids, friends and family.

When and why did you start your business?
I love to cook and bake and thought it was a fun idea.

 What is your favorite item that you sell?
A chocolate popcake with heath bar topping!

 What is your biggest dream for your business?
I'd like to own a storefront one day!  I think that would be so cute. 

Janice donated three gift certificates for bou-cakes ($30 value each).  
There is one gift certificate in each basket.

Pepi Designs

Look at all this beautiful jewelry:

I especially love that black bracelet.

These were all made by Pepi, and can be found in her shop  
Pepi Designs.
She hand makes every piece of jewelry and can even customize pieces to suit your needs.

Here's some interesting info about Pepi:

Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I was born in Bulgaria, but I moved to the US about 9 years ago. I'm currently an energy consultant by profession, but I love to design jewelry and do arts and crafts when I'm not at my day job.

 What is your favorite part about running your business?
I love the creating part, whether it's working on a custom order, or just looking at my supplies and getting ideas on new designs. It's always great to see the final product being even better than what I had envisioned, which inspires me to make more jewelry!

What is your biggest dream for your business?
I'd like to see my business expand, with a stable customer base, and be able to sustain itself. Also, I'd love to be the Etsy Featured Seller one day!

Pepi donated a pair of pearl earrings ($26 value).  

This item can be found in the All Grown Up basket.

Once Upon a Cupcake

A few years ago at one of the many boutiques I was participating in, I met Kelly from Once Upon a Cupcake.  We had both just started our businesses, and had a wonderful time getting to know and encourage one another.  

We became fast friends.

We became friends on Facebook.

Then we found out that not only had we been in youth group together in Junior High, but we had many mutual friends.  Many.  We were destined to be friends.
She even has a son named Beau!

I have enjoyed getting to know Kelly so much... but mostly I have enjoyed eating her cupcakes.

Kelly makes the absolutely most amazing, delicious, incredibly creative cupcakes that you have ever seen.
If you are reading this posting from somewhere other than Southern California, I am sorry that you will never get to experience Kelly's cupcakes.
You may want to plan a trip just to get a sampling.

I am not a dessert person.  
I crave chips and nuts... salty stuff.  
But sometimes I just crave Kelly's cupcakes.

They don't just taste amazing... they look amazing.  
And Kelly is so talented at creating the perfect cupcake to go along with any theme.  
And I do mean any theme.
Check out these cupcakes that she made for Beau's 6th birthday party.  
We took the train to the Old Spaghetti Factory for dinner.

And these are the ones she made for his 5th birthday, which was a pirate party:

She does amazing work:

Here's what Kelly had to say:

Where do you live, and is it where you are from originally?
I was born and raised in Mission Viejo. I live only a mile and half from the house I grew up in.

When and why did you start your business?
I started Once Upon a Cupcake in September 2007. My first child, Archer, was born in March 2007, so at the time he was 6 months old...things were easy... he wasn't talking, scooting, crawling, walking, etc... I wanted to "do something" from home. Well, that "do something" has turned into Once Upon a Cupcake, and that sweet baby started talking, scooting, crawling and walking faster than I had imagined. Now, he wants so badly to be my little helper.

What is your favorite part about running your business?
My favorite thing about running my own business is the ability to make my own hours. I can make myself as busy or as relaxed as my family needs me to be. I love being able to talk and play with my boys in between batches of cupcakes.

Kelly donated a Gift Certificate for One Dozen Cupcakes {a $30 value... and worth every penny} to the lucky winner of the Locals Only basket.

Norah James Designs

You may remember Tina and Norah James Designs from a giveaway she did on my blog a little while back.

Remember these cute designs?

And even though Tina has just given one of my readers one of her adorable tees, she generously offered up another Custom Tee for my raffle!

And now you can find out even more about Tina:

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your family.
I am a stay-at-home mom to 3 children, 9 year old daughter, 6 year old son, and 1 year old daughter.  In my former life, I was a pediatric nurse.  My husband is a student minister.  I spend most of my time driving children from school to piano to basketball practice to baseball games to Pizza Hut to swim to slumber parties--and I wouldn't change a thing about it!

What is your favorite part about running your business?
My favorite part of running my own business is the flexibility it offers.  I also enjoy coming up with new designs.  My absolute favorite thing is to see a child in town wearing one of my shirts---JOY!

 What is your biggest dream for your business?
My biggest dream for my business is to keep on keepin' on!  I really enjoy designing and making shirts.  I pray for every child/family as I make their shirt.  I pray for a Godly influence in their lives and salvation.

Tina donated a Gift Certificate for a 
Custom Tee of Your Choice ($17 value).  
This item can be found in the For the Kids basket.

Munchkin Things & Strings

I have some amazing sponsors!
People who have never even met me, but have supported and encouraged me so much.

Linsie of Munchkin Things & Strings is one of those people.

I hope I get to meet her one day.

Linsie donated several adorable hair bows:

These items can be found in the For the Kids basket.

MonaLicia Designs

I had the privilege of meeting Alicia Hilton several years ago at a party that Brooke was hosting.

Alicia is one of the kindest, most thoughtful, caring and compassionate people that you will ever meet.

She is also a very talented Interior Designer.

Alicia didn't want me to do a posting about her.
She just wanted to donate her services to help me get a baby.
But I want you all to know about MonaLicia Designs.
{Isn't that a clever name?}

Where do you live, and where are you from originally?
Huntington Beach, but I am originally from Lima, Peru in South America.

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your family.
We are total nerds who love God, love people and have a blast doing anything...

 What is your favorite part about running your business?
People! I love connecting with them and making a difference in their lives with the services I provide.

 What is your biggest dream for your business?
I ALWAYS receive inspiration and direction for every project ~ many times I surprise myself at the lovely results. My biggest dream is that I not only transform the home of my clients into beautiful representations of who they are, but that the results represent the Love in which it was filtered through. 

I am so excited about this prize!
Alicia donated a Style Consultation {$275 value}.  
This item can be found in the Locals Only basket.

Mama Goose Designs

One of my favorite things to do is mentor women who are starting at-home businesses.

Recently I have had the pleasure of encouraging one of my dear friends, Molly in her new business 

I absolutely love this product and know that her business is going to explode!  
It is a personalized photo memory game.

You send her your photos... she makes you a memory game.

We just gave a set to my dad and my grandfather for Father's Day.
They LOVED them.

Here's a little more about Molly:

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your family.
Mom of the 3 cutest little boys ever created....( can include Beau on this one if you need to!) and married to my best friend.  I love to sing, shop for a good bargain (Target is my Happy Place), play at the beach with family and friends and relax at home with all my boys. (Who am I kidding....3 boys under age 5 is rarely relaxing!!!)

When and why did you start your business?
 I started Mama Goose Designs only a few short months ago.  At Christmas time, I made ornaments with pictures of my kids for  family members as gifts and had so much fun making them, that I started thinking, "What else can I make with pictures and paper?!?" It kind of became an obsession.  Well, growing up my favorite game to play was the "Memory Game" by Milton know the have to match the puppies and tricycles and ice cream cones?!? I discovered that it was also a favorite of my 5 year olds as well.  Knowing that Tommy LOVES to look at pictures of himself, family and friends, I took the idea and made it into a game for him - one that he had to find the matching family photos and make a pair.  Turns out he now asks to play it almost everyday!

What is your biggest dream for your business?
My biggest dream for my business?  That I would get games into the hands of as many families as I could and perhaps one day, make enough $$ so that I could hire a few friends to help me!

Molly donated this non-personalized set:

AND a Gift Certificate for (1) Photo Memory Set!

These items can be found in the For the Kids basket.


I was browsing around the blogosphere one day and came across an ad for Maisonnette.

I was attracted to their website because the photography is beautiful.
Then I saw that they have beautiful fabric in the shop, and I liked them even more.
It totally looks like the style of shop that I want to have if I ever decide to open a storefront.


In the meantime, I am going to think of an excuse to go down to Oceanside for the day and visit Ava and her family at Maisonnette.

I also have to tell you... Ava and I had just connected and I had just placed her button on my site the day that I decided to do this little raffle.  I sent her the message that I sent all my sponsors, but I did not expect her to want to participate since she was brand new to my site.

The next morning I got an email from her telling me that she was in the airport on her way to Mexico, but that she would definitely like to contribute and that if I needed anything before she got back from her vacation she would make sure that one of her employees took care of it for me.

I was so very touched at her generosity.  God will truly bless it, for sure.
Where do you live, and where are you from originally?
Our shop is in Oceanside, and we are Southern California natives.

When and why did you start your business?
We started our business in 2009, and our theme of fabric, photography and art, simply came about this way.  Ava has three children, Christopher is an artist, Natalie is a photographer and Madeline is a seamstress!  So it was logical for us to have all three elements of the arts included in our shop.

 What is your favorite part about running your business?
Our favorite part of running Maisonnette is swapping ideas with our creative customers.

 What is your favorite item that you sell?
The fabric, because the possibilities are infinite.

 What is your biggest dream for your business?
To share our love of art and photography, and to inspire as many people as possible to enjoy their creative side by sewing, crafting and quilting.

Ava donated a $40 gift certificate to her shop.
This items can be found in the All Grown Up basket.

Made with Love

If you are like me, you can never have too many containers.

I have containers for my containers.

I love them.

It's even better when it is a cute container.
Check these out:

Stephanie from Made with Love makes these amazing, hand-painted, personalized toy crates.

She donated this amazing crate {that you are lucky made it into the raffle, because it looked really cute on my stairs}:

This item can be found in the Locals Only basket.

Love Stitched

You know what I have realized over these last few days while preparing these posts?  I have met some really neat people in the blogosphere.

Brittany from Love Stitched is one of those people.

I absolutely love her beautiful stuff:

and she also has a great blog that I enjoy keeping up on.
Where do you live, and where are you from originally?
I live in Utah but was born and raised in California. I originally started Love Stitched in Santa Monica, CA

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your family.
I am a stay at home step momma to three busy boys :) And I am married to a wonderfully supportive husband.

When and why did you start your business?
I wanted a creative outlet... something to express me and my creativity. And having all boys I wanted to make girly things :)

 What is your favorite part about running your business?
The creating and customers. I love to hear from blog followers and my customers truly make my day!!

Brittany donated a Grace necklace.  

This item can be found in the All Grown Up basket.

Jomestic Doi

If I were ever to consider homeschooling {which I have nothing against... I just have no desire to do it myself} it would be during Junior High.

I think instead of torturing prisoners, we could just make them repeat Junior High over and over again.

I hated Junior High.

And I was actually relatively popular.

Okay, are you wondering where I am going with all this?

When I was in Junior High I had a friend named Lisa.
We were typical Junior High "friends".
We were nice to each other when it was convenient, we competed over other friends, we were snide at times.

In High School we basically went our separate ways.

Then a few years ago we ran into each other at a mutual friends' bridal shower.
We were both a little nervous {you know that feeling that sends you right back to the insecurity of adolescence?}, but it tuned out that neither of us was still a silly little Junior Higher!

I have really enjoyed reconnecting with her even more on Facebook.
She too is an uber-creative SAHM that loves Jesus.

She is an Interior Decorator, but I have been encouraging her for months to open an Etsy shop.

She finally did... introducing Jomestic Doi.  Isn't that a great name?

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your family.
I am a wife of almost 10 years to a super-hottie, a mother to two precious boys (9 and 6 11/12) and a lover of Jesus.  I have an interior design business and am a professional seamstress.  I love to garden, sew, clean and craft.  I love people, I love making new friends and I will never stop laughing!  I am also crazy because I homeschool my kids, make my own laundry detergent, and drive a prius.

When and why did you start your business?
I started my "business" a few months ago at the prompting of my SIL who has a successful jewelry and events company.  Believe it or not, interior design can actually suck the creativity out of you.  I am not "successful" enough to make people give into what I want in my portfolio (and I like it that way!)  so I needed something to focus some of my creative energy on OUTSIDE of interior design.

 What is your favorite part about running your business?
Fabric.  anything that lets me go to the fabric store and gaze upon all the choices and then create something I love is "my favorite".  As we all know, when you are doing something you love it is never work!

 What is your biggest dream for your business?
 To be bigger than Martha ... or Emmy ... he hee.  I really just want women to be able to find joy in lovely things that aid them in their mundane, repetitive tasks as moms ... when I go grocery shopping, it really is fun to have my cute, reusable grocery bags.  They make me feel fancy and girl-y!  And environmentally responsible.

Lisa donated 3 reusable shopping bags.  
These items can be found in the All Grown Up basket.

How To Pray Cards

When my parents brought me home from the hospital my sister {who was 2 and a half at the time} came up to me and said with a sigh of excitement, You're my sister and I love you.

She has been loving me and taking care of me ever since.

A couple of years ago for Mother's Day my sister made my mom and me these sets of laminated cards that she had labeled How to Pray for Your Children and How to Pray for Your Grandchildren, respectively.

They were these wonderful cards, each one with a short prayer and a corresponding bible verse with different ways that we could be praying for our family.  They were meant to be kept on our nightstand and prayed through each night.

We both loved them, and started showing them to friends.

Molly quickly started receiving orders.
Then she started getting requests for different sets of cards.
Like How to Pray for Your Husband, How to Pray During Challenging Times, and How to Pray with Your Kids.

She now offers over 20 different styles in her shop  
How to Pray Cards,
and has even more in the works all the time.

Here's a little bit more info about Molly:

Tell me a little bit about yourself and/or your family.
I left my elementary school teaching career when my son was born to be a stay-at-home mom. I am now blessed with two precious kiddos (4 1/2 and 2 1/2) and run a home business in my spare (is that what you call it?) time. I've been married for 9 years to my amazing husband, Kevin. He works harder than anyone I know in order to support our family, so I am thankful for the opportunity to use my gifts to help bring in a little extra income. What a blessing, as well, to be able to minister to and encourage others to fill their hearts with God's Word!

When and why did you start your business?
How to Pray Cards  began in May of 2008. It was not intended to be a business at all. My second baby had been born in late 2007 and I had always tried to use middle-of-the-night feedings with my babies as time to pray over them. Since I always struggled to stay awake, or found myself praying the same thing over and over, I got the idea that I should write down my prayers on little index cards to help me stay focused. I also thought it would be nice to pass the cards on to my kids someday so they could see what I had been praying for them since before they were born. The whole project was at the bottom of my to-do list and I was finally driven to make the prayer cards when I was helping throw a baby shower for a good friend who was having her first baby. I decided it would make a unique baby shower gift. The shower happened to fall the weekend before Mother's Day and I got the idea to give them to my sister and sister-in-law and to make "How to Pray for Your Grandkids" for my kids' grandmas. It all started with 6 sets - all handmade with scrapbooking paper, fancy scissors, glue and laminated in big sheets at Staples. From there, I started getting requests for more and custom requests for "How to Pray for Your Husband", bible verse memory cards for new moms, etc. All my best ideas have come from my customers and the business has now grown to include over 25 titles!

What is your favorite part about running your business?
The best part is seeing people get excited about God's Word and about prayer. I've been blown away by the response of people - even unbelievers! - to what amounts to little laminated pieces of paper! I love when people share their stories with me of how they are using their cards, or how they have been able to witness or encourage others with the gift of prayer. It just reminds me how powerful and precious God's Word really is!

 What is your biggest dream for your business?
My biggest dream is that this business stays the Lord's business and not Molly's. I want to see where He will take it and not get in the way of that - either with my pride (that wants to see my name in lights) or with my fears (which hold me back from saying "Yes" to opportunities He is giving me). It would be wonderful to get to a point where I can produce them much faster and be able to keep up with a growing business. I would also love to see them translated into other languages and made available to people in countries who don't have all the wonderful Bible resources we have in America.

Molly donated three $25 Gift Cards to How To Pray Cards.  You will find one in each basket!

Gigi Hill

I was first introduced to Gigi Hill a couple of years ago when a friend invited me to a party at her home.  Out of curiosity, and because I have a background in Direct Sales, I went on the website to check out the company.  It turns out that it was started locally, by a couple of OC Soccer Moms that wanted to start a business they could run from home.

I wasn't sure what to expect from these local "homegrown" bags, but when I got to the party... I wanted everything.

I mean, seriously... these bags are not only stylish, but also extremely durable and well made.  I now own several {mostly thanks to my Mama}.

I met Pam Pearson at a Holiday Boutique, and she has become my family's go-to Gigi Hill girl.
I'm hoping to get to order a diaper bag from her soon!

Here's a little bit more info about Pam:

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your family.
 I have been married to my husband Jim for 15 years and we have a little boy named Kyle who is 4 years old.  I have a Pomeranian named Coco that I adore and my dream would be to have a small farm with lots of animals. 
When and why did you start your business?
I started as a Stylist with Gigi Hill in April, 2009 as I was leaving a full-time job to be home more with my son and the timing was perfect.  I fell in love with the bags and have not looked back.

What is your favorite part about running your business?
I love all the fabulous women I meet at home parties and events who have now become good friends.

 What is your favorite item that you sell?
There are several...I love the Rolling Audrey, the Audrey tote and the Ava cell phone wallet (to name a few).

Pam donated a $25 Gift Certificate to Gigi Hill.  This items can be found in the All Grown Up basket.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Finley and Oliver

I can't remember how I found Finley and Oliver, but as soon as I saw Grace's shop I just fell in love with her stuff!  I love unique clothing, and especially stuff that is handmade. 

My favorite item in her shop is the Toddler Mustache Tee:

But I also love the Union Jack Tee:

And we all know how much I love birds, so how could I resist the Birds on a Wire baby tee?

Here's a little bit of info about Grace:

Where do you live, and is it where you are from originally?
My family and I have lived in the burbs of Phoenix for the past 4 years. However, we are originally from Southern California (which I am missing tremendously as the sweltering summer heat is settling in here).

When and why did you start business? 
My business was born out of my frustration at the lack of cool, functional boys clothing that wasn't emblazoned with trains, fire engines, or cartoon characters. When my first son was born, I decided to applique some fun and original pieces for him. Things slowly evolved from there and my business, Finley and Oliver, has now been up and running for about a year and a half.

What is your biggest dream for your business?
You know, I'm really pleased with the way things are going for my business. It's all really been a dream come true (sounds cheesy, I know). I suppose my biggest dream would be to finally figure out the ideal balance between running Finley and Oliver and being fully available for my family. If any of you know the secret, let me know and I'll send you brownies!
Grace donated her most popular Deer Head Tee:

and this adorable baby hat, which Brooke said definitely looks like my baby's hat so I will have to buy one of these very soon:

These Finley and Oliver designs can be found in the For the Kids basket.

Dove Chocolate

Everyone has heard of Dove Chocolate, which is a division of Mars, Inc., but did you know that Dove now has a Direct Sales Division called  
Dove Chocolate Discoveries?
Chocolatiers {don't you just love that name... it makes me think of Mouseketeers} come into your own home, bring enough chocolate for you and all your friends, then teach you to make fun things and let you eat it!

Sounds pretty good to me.

I first heard about Dove Chocolatiers when I met one.  Kim's kids were on the Swim Team with Beau last year, so I got to know her poolside.  She has an amazing story, which I will let her share with you below.

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your family.
I have an incredible husband and 3 amazing kids;  Andrew (9) , Christine (7) and Elise (3)....I am a clinical social worker, doing counseling with families and children for the past 20 years...and now am a stay at home mom with a chocolate business.

When and why did you start your business?
I started my business exactly 2 years ago.  Our family has $500k in medical debt from my son's 3.5 year battle with an aggressive cancer.  I have been praying for a way to help our family financially, while still staying home with my kids, and God presented a ground floor opportunity with Dove Chocolate.

 What is your favorite item that you sell?
It's a tie!  Java Chip Smoothies and Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans

 What is your biggest dream for your business?
I have been blessed by earning a spot on our Dove President's Advisory Council.  I would like to remain one of the top leaders, earning vacations for my family, and contributing financially to pay our medical bills.

Kim donated a Chocolate Making Class for Four Adults {in Orange County}.  
This item can be found in the Locals Only basket.

Deer Lovely

A couple of years ago at a Holiday Boutique I met Sarah, who was running her clothing business called Bird Street Clothing.  She had fantastic, trendy stuff at super reasonable prices.

I invited her to come to a small boutique I was putting on at a friend's house, and my friends went wild!

She has come to every boutique I have put on since then and always sells a ton of her adorable clothing and accessories.

She recently changed the name of her business, and you can now find her at Deer Lovely, which is dedicated to all things lovely.

Here's a little bit more info about Sarah:

When and why did you start your business?
Started in 2007... 
really just for fun at the time

What is your favorite part about running your business?
Finding great deals on cute clothes/accessories and being able to pass that on to others.

 What is your biggest dream for your business?
To be able to do it full time and pay my mortgage...right now I work 3 jobs

Sarah donated the Beau {of course I love that} on the Edge Tee and a beautiful clutch.

These items can be found in the All Grown Up basket.